UNIX and BSD books

We are now associated with Amazon.com so that you can order some of these books directly from them. Ordering from these "Order from Amazon" links is a way of helping to fund the OpenBSD project.

OpenBSD-specific books

Building Linux and OpenBSD Firewalls
by Wes Sonnenreich, Tom Yates.
This book describes the OpenBSD 2.5 installation process and the elementary management of the system firewalling tools.
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BSD-specific books

The Design and Implementation of the 4.4 BSD Operating System
by Marshal Kirk McKusick, Keith Bostic, Michael J. Karels, John S. Quarterman
At 549 pages plus an index, this book must be considered comprehensive. McKusick, Bostic and Karels are well known as prime movers at Berkeley CSRG (Computer Systems Research Group) during the 4.3/4.4BSD period. This book covers the 4.4 and 4.4-Lite releases, and discusses everything you wanted to know about how the system operates. Not 100% applicable, but probably the closest there is to an overall system internals manual for OpenBSD.
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Source Code Secrets: The Basic 386BSD Operating System Reference (Volume 1 of Operating System Source Code Secrets)
by L. W. Jolitz, William Jolitz; 1997
The Jolitzes built the first port of BSD to the PC-386 architecture, and deserve a lot of credit for making BSD portable to this low-cost architecture. The earliest versions, called "386bsd", were described in articles in Dr. Dobbs Journal. This book goes beyond the articles, and provides a comprehensive annotated collection of source code. Not all of it applies to modern versions of OpenBSD, of course, but you can still learn a lot from it.
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Berkeley Unix: A Simple and Comprehensive Guide
by James Wilson
Begins with the basic commands and finishes with advanced programming techniques. Offers strong coverage of systems calls.
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An Introduction to Berkeley Unix and ANSI C
by Jack Hodges
An introduction to the operating system and the programming language. Intended for self-study, requires no previous knowledge of Unix. Covers the fundamentals of programming; the correct use of syntax; programming style, debugging, logic, and system programming with C.
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4.4 BSD User's Reference Manual (URM)
published by O'Reilly, 1994
This is just a reprint of the man pages for users. Your OpenBSD distribution includes the online man pages, which are specific to OpenBSD, and more up-to-date. So you don't need this one: use the man command instead.

4.4 BSD System Manager's Manual (SMM)
published by O'Reilly, 1994
This book details what you need to know to run a BSD system. Quite a bit of this material is relevant to OpenBSD. Unfortunately it is currently out of print. Worse, due to licensing restrictions from AT&T, the electronic editions of these were not included in the 4.4BSD distributions, so most of them are not included with OpenBSD. The few that are may be found via the Documents page.

BSD mit Methode
published by C&L Computer- und Literaturverlag GmbH, 1998
A book in German on all three freenix BSDs covering the essentials of installation, X configuration and system administration, as well as PERL programming and tips on LaTeX/Lyx. The book also covers the KDE desktop environment.
Includes older versions of OpenBSD on the two included CD-ROMs.
Apparently not available through Amazon.com, but Lehmann's Online Bookshop lists it. However, you might want to pick up a more recent version of the CD-ROM.

Unix user guides

Unix Made Easy
by John Muster
A general Unix book that covers all areas of the system.
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UNIX Power Tools
by Jerry D. Peek, Tim O'Reilly, and Mike Loukides
This book is now now in its second edition. It discusses hundreds of neat tricks, little-known techniques, and add-on utilities. Be aware that many of the utilities are either included with OpenBSD or, more commonly, are already available as ports or packages. So most of section 52.03, complaining about how hard it is to port software to different UNIXes, can be disregarded if you learn about the Ports Mechanism that is part of OpenBSD.
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The Multi-Boot Configuration Handbook
by Rod Smith
Book explaining techniques for Multi-booting.
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Unix administration

UNIX System Administration Handbook
by Evi Nemeth, Garth Snyder, Scott Seebass, Trent R. Hein
This is an excellent book on Unix system administration.
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Essential System Administration
by AEleen Frisch
This book covers many fundamental tasks in system administration. It includes examples for a wide range of Unix operating systems, including BSD.
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Unix programming

Unix Systems for Modern Architectures
by Curt Schimmel
This book leads its reader through all the low-level kernel models for multi-processing architectures. OpenBSD does not implement multi-processing capabilities as of yet, but what do you think the developers are reading?
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Lions' Commentary on UNIX 6th Edition with Source Code
by John Lions
Although the UNIX described in this book is to BSD as a Model T Ford is to a 70's Mustang or Thunderbird, UNIX inventor Ken Thompson claims that "After 20 years, this is still the best exposition of the workings of a 'real' operating system." Originally circulated in illicit photocopies, this is the book that most first- and second-generation UNIX hackers cut their code-teeth on. Recommended as a good introduction to how a timesharing OS works, if you've not been inside one before. Substantially shorter than the McKusick book above.
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The Practice of Programming
by Brian W. Kernighan and Rob Pike
Brian Kernighan had a hand in two other books which we recommend even though they're not UNIX specific, but are useful to programmers on UNIX and elsewhere. This book covers practical programming considerations for C, C++ and Java. Highly recommended.
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The Elements of Programming Style
by Brian W. Kernighan and P. J. Plauger
This book is similar to The Practice of Programming, but older. The examples are given in Fortran and PL/I.
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Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment
by W. Richard Stevens
This is a very detailed and easy to read book. It has several examples that you can learn from. There is plenty of information about library and system calls, and associated information so that you can use them. This book along with the OpenBSD manual pages make an excellent combination.
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Network administration

SSH, The Secure Shell.
by Daniel J. Barrett and Richard Silverman
The Definitive Guide. OpenSSH is covered in detail.
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TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1
by W. Richard Stevens
"Network administration" is really an inappropriate heading for this book. It is an encyclopedia of the TCP/IP protocol suite. This book provides information, and diagrams useful to understand the suite to its' lowest level. Home enthusiasts, developers, and network administrators alike will enjoy this book.
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Kerberos: A Network Authentication System
by Brian Tung
A guide for administrators of Kerberos-based networks. Explains concepts of the Kerberos system, as well as the installation and administration of it.
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IPSec: The New Security Standard for the Internet, Intranets and Virtual Private Networks
by Naganand Doraswamy and Dan Harkins
This book explains the IPSec protocol suite. It also describes its relation to the current deployments, such as VPNs, and future ideas.
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Computer Networks
by Andy Tanenbaum
This book is an high-level guide to modern computer networking. It presents a wide range of protocols, concepts, and technologies. It covers technologies from fiber to wireless, LANs, Mobile IP, and a lot more.
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by Paul Albitz and Cricket Liu
This book is an excellent introduction to DNS and BIND, useful for anyone who has to implement DNS under OpenBSD.
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by Ted Lemon and Ralph E. Droms
Recommended by the Internet Software Consortium, which is the organization that produces the DHCP client/server software included with OpenBSD.
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Managing NFS and NIS
by Hal Stern
Gives essential information with examples on managing NFS and NIS.
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SSL and TLS Essentials: Securing the Web
by Stephen A. Thomas
This book offers introductory coverage of the SSL and TLS protocols, with examples. The SSL protocol is currently the basis of secure data transfer and secure transactions on the Internet. Aside from encryption, this book also covers data integrity and details the SSL protocol.
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Big Book of IPsec RFCs: Internet Security Architecture
compiled by Pete Loshin
A complete reprint of the IPSec RFCs with an extensive index and glossary.
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Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C
by Bruce Schneier
A comprehensive explanation of Cryptography, with information about its history, protocols, and algorithms. This book is a great introduction to cryptography, with the necessary basics to understand the field. Also, it has a very extensive reference section.
From Amazon, someone commented " It is common to find that masters of mysterious technical arts are poor communicators. Bruce Schneier demonstrates exceptional skill as a technical communicator. Here is a book about an esoteric subject - one built on a foundation of theoretical mathematics - that ordinary folk can read. Sure, one needs to be motivated by an interest in the subject, and the technical level sometimes requires a more than ordinary background in number theory and the like - but a degree in theoretical mathematics is not necessary to derive pleasure and profit from reading Applied Cryptography."
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